The way in which a log is cut determines the appearance of a veneer’s texture, grain and color. Faces will of course have natural variations in grain inherent in the species and cut, and the following illustrations are simplifications of these variations. For the look that’s best for your project, involve Sun Door and Trim early in the selection process.
Rotary – Following the log’s annual growth rings, this cut provides a generally bold, random appearance. Rotary cut is the most economical cutting method but do to its widely varying grain pattern it is not typically specified in species other than Birch.
Plain Sliced – Sliced parallel to a line through the center of the log, resulting in a combination of aesthetically pleasing cathedral and straight-grained patterns. This cut is commonly used for Oak, Maple, Cherry, Mahogany, Walnut, Ash, etc.
Quarter Sliced – Results in a vertically straight grain pattern without cathedrals the width of which may vary from a vary narrow and compact straight pattern to a wider wavy pattern. The objective is a more uniform pattern than sliced thereby providing a much more uniform appearance to the entire project. In Oaks, Quartering produces the pattern to the right, which is a straight grain but has hash marks across the grain called “Flake”. This is a result of splitting the Medullar Ray which only occurs in Oak trees.
Rift Cut – Rift cutting provides the means to achieve a straight grain in Oaks while minimizing the chance for “flake.” Rift cutting is restricted to Oaks only.